As we enter Fall and the holiday season begins, there are steps you should take to ensure it’s a happy, healthy and safe season for both you and your pets:
- The holiday season means you may be doing a lot of entertaining at home. If you do any cleaning beforehand, be sure to keep all household chemicals out of your pet’s reach.
- Speaking of guests, odds are you’ll have lots of company entering and leaving your home. Be sure you know where your pets are at all times. We don’t want them slipping out the door unnoticed!
- Be sure you and your guests don’t overfeed your pets … particularly with table scraps from those holiday dinners.
- Turkey is in abundance during these holidays – especially during Thanksgiving. Turkey bones lodged in tiny throats can be disastrous so safeguard your
garbage cans and leftovers.
- Be sure to keep those holiday chocolates out of reach. Chocolate, which contains theobromine, can be particularly toxic to our four-footed friends.
- Holiday plants such as poinsettas and mistletoe can be deadly, so keep them out of your pet’s reach. If you receive a plant as a gift and you are not sure of its toxicity, check with your local garden center.
- Christmas trees are tempting to our pets, especially our curious felines. To ensure that your tree is not knocked over, tie it to a railing or secure it to a bannister.
- Avoid using tinsel when decorating your tree as it can become stuck in your pet’s throat.
- When decorating your tree, place all breakable ornaments towards the top of the tree … out of your pet’s reach. Remember, glass ornaments and Christmas tree lights can cut tiny paws if they shatter. Place only unbreakable items on the bottom of your tree.
- Speaking of holiday lighting, your pet may try to chew on the extra extension cords used with holiday lighting. Keep your eye on Fluffy or Fido and, if necessary, spray the cords with a deterrent product such as Bitter Lime or Bitter Apple.
- If you are using a live tree, do not add chemical preservatives to the tree’s water. Your pet may drink the water and the chemicals might be toxic.
- Use caution when using decorative candles. A burning candle knocked over by a curious pet could have disastrous results for both you and your pet.
- Finally, there’s nothing like a roaring fire on a cool night. If you intend to use your fireplace or wood-burning stove, use a protective screen to prevent your pets from being singed.
By using a little thought and planning, both you and your pets can have a happy, healthy and safe holiday season!
Warren Eckstein, host of The Pet Show, is an internationally known pet and animal expert. Warren has devoted over thirty years to teaching both pets and their people to live happily together through his unique “Hugs and Kisses” approach to animal behavior, care and training.
Warren has worked with more than 40,000 pets including those of many well-known celebrities. David Letterman, Cheryl Tiegs, Lily Tomlin, Geraldine Ferraro, Al Pacino, Rodney Dangerfield, and Phylicia Rashad are just a few of many whom Warren has helped with pet problems.